How Long Can Daniel Bard Last in the Red Sox Rotation?
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daniel Bard has a 2-4 record on the 2012 season with an ERA of 4.83 and a WHIP of 1.516. He took the loss in Tuesday’s 6-4 decision against the Kansas City Royals. He fared well until he allowed two walks to lead off the bottom of the eighth, then gave way to Matt Albers, who gave up the game-winning home run shortly after.
Needless to say, Bard’s performance hasn’t exactly translated well from his three years in the Red Sox bullpen.
Bard’s struggles as a starter are just one part of a seemingly endless list of complaints about the Red Sox pitching staff. Getting assurance that something will go right will be a welcome sigh of relief for the Boston media and Red Sox Nation, Bard or otherwise, but nothing seems to be coming any time soon. The cries for the former heir to Jonathan Papelbon‘s throne to actually take said throne have been growing louder and louder since manager Bobby Valentine named Bard a starter midway through spring training. The timeline of complaints is as long as the season itself:
April 6, the weekend of the disastrous series against the Detroit Tigers: “[He would be] going back to what would be a glamorous role – not the set-up man, but the pitcher who earns saves and therefore can accrue future dollars in the process.” – Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
April 23, when Bard pitched an inning of relief between starts against the Minnesota Twins: “[W]hat does it say that a team can’t let its No. 5 starter make his third big-league start without worrying about holding leads in relief?” – Ron Chimelis, Springfield Republican
May 9, after the debacle against Kansas City: “[O]nce again, we cannot help but wonder whether Bard is truly suited to start, whether the Red Sox are doing both him and themselves a disservice by keeping him in the starting rotation during a season that looks more like a fire drill with each passing day.” – Tony Massarotti, Boston Globe
It’s been rough for Bard, his teammates, his coaches, and the fans, and to make matters worse, there’s no sign that the popular solution – moving him to the bullpen – could happen at all this season.
Oh, and don’t forget Bard’s two balks in one at-bat last night.